The second half of 2011 has been one of considerable activity by ACS. I am delighted with the establishment of State chapters. It is very pleasing to see the work being done by members of ACS in each state. We have so much to do. In some ways the degree of activity in coastal management at state and local levels is overwhelming. ACS needs active state members who are prepared to assist each of the state convenors put together information and prioritize actions. It is also up to each state chapter to help share information and to reinforce those who see the need for improved CZM but find it difficult to be outspoken because of job commitments. If we are to be “the voice of the coast”, then there should be those in each state who can speak openly on behalf of ACS.
Coastal conferences have proven to be very helpful in exchanging ideas, meeting new members of ACS and encouraging all coastal “friends” to be alert to actions that may permanently damage coastal resources, amenities and lifestyles. I have been fortunate this year to travel at least once to most states. Common themes emerge: failure of local and state governments to implement exiting policies where they exist; the need to update and clarify the plethora of guidelines and policies using statutory instruments where appropriate; continued pressure of developers and also legal firms to protect property rights; how to manage the coast in the face of uncertainties of climate change including the continued desire of decision-makers to place people and infrastructure in “harm’s way”; and the strong desire to ensure sustainable use of natural resources. At both Queensland and NSW conferences this year these and other topics were discussed. It was great to see Gen Y as well as Gen X and the “oldies” offering papers, and the passion of younger generations to provide “solutions” was most heartening.
At the federal level it has been my privilege to serve as Chair of the Coasts and Climate Change Council
. Minister Greg Combet has encouraged communication of issues arising from the 2009 House of Representatives report
. In several talks I have been able to outline these matters and seek advice, including at the ACS workshop held prior to the NSW conference
. Comments provided at the workshop were kindly summarised by Tom Fitzgerald and are now to be found on the ACS web site
We are all indebted to Mel Bradbury for her service to ACS and the broader coastal community as our communications officer. She does a magnificent job in keeping us all informed and facilitating discussion. Now we have expanded our range of social media into Facebook
we feel we can reach further into the ether world with messages on our coast. In 2012 we hope this service will expand.
I would also like to thank all members on the ACS Executive for their support to the Society. I believe we work as a great team and as Chair I appreciate their continued involvement.
All the very best to our members for 2012, Bruce Thom